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Pharmaceutical company IDT Biologika is investing around EUR 100 million to expand its vaccine production facility in Dessau, Saxony-Anhalt. IDT Biologika is closely cooperating with vaccine developers such as Johnson & Johnson and Takeda and recently entered a strategic partnership with AstraZeneca. The investment is part of the company’s medium-term goal of establishing the Dessau site as the largest vaccine hub in Europe.
Medical technology specialist World of Medicine (WOM) has established a new production site in Sonneberg, Thuringia. The EUR 10 million investment made by the company will see products for minimally invasive surgery produced at the new facility, with jobs created rising to 100 in the coming years. WOM, a subsidiary of the US technology company Novanta Inc., is headquartered in Berlin and produces medical devices and surgical sterile products at its Ludwigsstadt production facility in northern Bavaria.
Chinese biopharmaceutical company WuXi Biologics has invested EUR 25 million in the purchase of a production facility from Bayer in North Rhine-Westphalia. More than 100 new jobs will be created at the site, which sees the company launch its German operations. Wuxi Biologics has also purchased another facility from Bayer in Wuppertal, at which it intends to produce active ingredients for Covid-19 vaccines.
Hamburg-based GeneQuine Biotherapeutics has raised more than EUR 9 million in funding. The start-up, launched with seed investment from the Innovationsstarter Fonds Hamburg by the Hamburgische Investitions- und Förderbank, raised EUR 5.4 million in Series A financing as well as over EUR 3.6 million in non-dilutive funding. The company develops medicine to treat musculoskeletal diseases including osteoarthritis, arthritis, osteoporosis, and back pain. The company, headquartered in Harburg, operates a research and development laboratory in Luckenwalde (Brandenburg) and a subsidiary in Liège (Belgium).
Berlin-based start-up Primal State is developing a coaching app with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to provide real-time recommendations for nutrients and routines for increased energy and well-being. The start-up models itself as a holistic “digital-first brand,” offering a platform for the retail of functional foods and digital coaching programs for more energy and well-being in everyday life. The company’s online platform provides users with free access to a library on articles, videos, podcasts and how-to guides for a healthier lifestyle.
Rehago, a start-up offshoot from a study project at Tübingen University Hospital, has developed a digital support app that makes use of VR gaming principles to support stroke victims who are paralyzed on one side. The Rehago app applies proven principles of mirror therapy in a virtual environment using VR headsets to allow patients to carry out routine therapy sessions at home, allowing time for more advanced therapy measures during therapy sessions. Rehago is currently undergoing the extensive review processes of the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) in order to get listed in the official register of reimbursable digital health applications (DiGA), the so-called “DiGA directory” for apps available on prescription.
Pharmaceutical company Stada has announced plans to extend its portfolio to medical cannabis in Germany. The move will see the pharmaceutical giant produce cannabis-based products for chronic pain management as a complementary therapy option. In 2017, the German parliament passed a “Cannabis as Medicine” law that allows for easier access to prescriptions and reimbursement of pharmaceutical grade cannabis distributed via pharmacies. Since then, the German market has demonstrated steady growth. In 2020, medical cannabis sales increased by 34 percent, exceeding EUR 165 million.
A growing number of start-ups are entering the fledgling cannabis product market in Germany according to the Cannabis Business Industry Association (BvCW) e.V. Hemp spread, hempseed oil and hemp tea are just some of the products on the growing list of cannabis-base products coming to market. Pforzheim-based Signature Products covers the entire hemp value chain from one source, claiming that it is currently the only company in Europe able to cover all bases from hemp growth and laboratory analysis to white and private labeling. In Germany, a distinction must be made between CBD products (with a THC content not higher than 0.2 percent) and medical cannabis products (containing higher levels of THC).